A four-cylinder engine that Peugeot claims is the most powerful 1.6-litre production unit on the planet will drive the “R” version of the RCZ coupe when it lands in New Zealand in April.
The carmaker’s motorsport division, Peugeot Sport, has reworked the standard RCZ engine to deliver around 200kW and 330Nm – or 54kW and 95Nm more than it started with.
The performance arm has aimed high with the RCZ R – the last road-going rocket it did was the 205 T16 (turbo 16-valve) of the early 1980s.
Peugeot Sport has done far more than just boost power and torque in the RCZ R’s engine. Upgrades include direct injection, new pistons and con-rods, a twin-scroll turbocharger, and larger intercooler.
The result is a two-door flyer that scoots from 0-100km/h in five-plus seconds and on to a governed top speed of 250km/h.
Peugeot Sport also improved the car’s agility and handling by reworking toe and camber angles for the front wheels, installing a torque sensing differential, widening the track and stiffening the suspension.
One report from the UK said the level of tuning gives the RCZ R an “almost rally-car like character on the road.” Its 330Nm is available between 1900 and 5500rpm.
Reigning in the car’s extra power is a set of 380mm Alcon front brakes with four-piston red calipers bearing the Peugeot Sport name.
Another advantage of teasing high performance out of a small capacity engine is fuel efficiency. Peugeot claims the RCZ R returns a town-and-around figure of around 7 litres/100km, or better than 40mpg. That measures C02 emissions of 145gr/km.
Peugeot says the new forged pistons were developed by Mahle Motorsport and use a grade of aluminium found in Formula One.
Also new is a specially strengthened six-speed manual transmission and uprated clutch. The exhaust system is linked to the draw of the engine’s air intake to amplify the sporting character of the new RCZ R’s engine.
The coupe rides 10mm lower than the standard car and on two-tone 19-inch alloys shod in Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 235/40 R19 tyres.
A spokesperson for Peugeot NZ distributors Sime Derby said the two-door will only be available in limited numbers. No word on price yet. The standard RCZ, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, costs $59,990.